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  • Writer's pictureGeetanjali Pai

Break the Silence

The deep-seated patriarchal system has created a “second class” status for women in India. Many men consider themselves to be superior to women, and they often do not respect a woman’s consent. In India, a study showed that nearly 1 in 5 women is a victim of violence and abuse. These numbers are frightening, but what is even more frightening is that most of these cases go unreported. In India, only 10% of the total cases of gender related violence get reported when there are about 88 such cases in a day.

Rape is the only crime in which the victim becomes the accused. Questions are hurled at the girl after all the trauma she has been through and the boy escapes scot-free. “Don’t wear such clothes” is the main statement a girl is told. How does wearing certain clothing justify violence against a woman! Even when a woman is fully clothed, she gets dirty stares and is eve-teased. Instead of policing a girl’s appearance shouldn’t men be educated about this?

A NO is a NO and they must respect a woman's consent and must not view her as an object! Sadly, we live in a society that teaches a woman to be careful not to get raped instead of telling a man not to rape.

Even if a girl reports a rape, the government takes several years to reach a solid conclusion and punish the wrongdoer. The Nirbhaya case went on for seven long years and only then was the punishment given. Several protests are held whenever a rape case comes into the limelight. Often, no change results from these protests. There are so many girls like Nirbhaya who were victims of violence and abuse, who were battered and bruised, and whose muffled screams had no effect on the inhuman rapists.

What we need is for women to be treated like human beings and men who commit violence against women to be put in their right place. A tough law needs to be implemented that is effective and the investigating agency and the decision of prosecution of a person should be more efficient. We need change, and we need it NOW.

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